Staff at Specsavers Hartlepool have completed a course, developed with The National Autistic Society, to support customers with autism.

The initiative, which is being rolled out across Specsavers stores nationwide, aims to build the team’s knowledge about the lifelong developmental disability, while helping to improve the customer experience for people with autism, and their carers.

The online learning modules cover understanding autism; communicating with people with autism; how autism can impact the senses, and adjustments that stores can make.

A word from the store director

Ian Walker, retail director at Specsavers Hartlepool, said: ‘As our store is such a big part of the community, it is vital that we are able to communicate and support someone with the condition in the most effective way possible.

‘Many members of the team have already completed the different learning modules. We are very proud to be involved in support The National Autistic Society and we hope this training will help make the optical experience easier for people who are living with the condition.’

A word from an employee who has undertaken the training

Victoria Seyburn, optical assistant, said: ‘When I first learned of the autism training available I was very quick to sign up. ‘It affects so many people that I felt it was important to take advantage of the training to ensure that people with autism are fully supported when they are instore.’

The National Autistic Society’s business development manager, Sharlene Wright, says: ‘This has been a great opportunity for us to increase awareness of autism in partnership with an organisation that is proactively seeking to enable autistic people to have a positive experience in its stores.

All Hartlepool store information